QA175 QUESTION: My daughter and son-in-law are both extremely gifted and very important, exciting things are coming up for them very soon. And yet they have been dependent financially for so long. I think it’s hurting them, and it’s hurting me. I would like to see them independent.
ANSWER: Do these people seek help for themselves? Do they know that this is a problem?
QUESTION: I think so.
ANSWER: Well, then, it would have to be found out. In the first place, I would say, you are the last person in the world who can help directly, because whatever you would say would be misconstrued. It would be taken as a rebuff and as an expression of lack of love on your part.
So if there’s truly help desired on their part, then this help should be sought by them and not from you. They must then recognize that there is an inner, probably unconscious will to depend, because each in their own way might have felt that’s the only way to get love. That may not be rational – it may not appear rational to you – but children often feel that way.
They have their interpretation of things that happen that make them feel unwanted or unloved or uncared for, no matter how untrue this may be as far as the parents are concerned. Then this dependency is a deliberate expression of “I’ll make myself dependent so as to make myself loved.”
Now, unless a human being recognizes these inner – and for the longest time – unconscious designs, the willingness to be free and independent will not exist. On the other hand, you have the perfect right to stop helping. And you can do it, if you can do it in love and without guilt – if the accusation does not make you waver about your own certainty that you love.
I would suggest that you beware of rationalizing – for no matter how true it would be, it would still be a rationalization – your not wanting to help by saying you’re doing it for their sake. They would resent this much more than if you would say, “I do not want to help anymore. I love you, but I do not want to help anymore. If you do not believe that I love you anyhow, that is your problem.”
QUESTION: Oh, I’ve said that, but the point comes again and again. But I have to be there. I don’t like to see it. I respect the work and the life much too much to see it hurt. But I wonder if there is some way I could handle it subtly without hurting them or hurting myself.
ANSWER: The only way this can be done is when you really feel good about yourself, of doing it. When you have your qualms, when you waver, when you lose your strength in doing it, when you begin to wonder, then your action will not have a positive effect.
You see, this is what people do not want to understand. It is never the act in itself that determines whether the act is right, wrong, healthy or unhealthy. It is always in the way you feel. If you cannot feel really good about it, you have to seek a way, and then you have to investigate your own problem here. For if someone else can make you feel guilty, it is as much your problem as it is theirs, in a different way.